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on August 9, 2013
This is a good book for novice grillers and smokers. I bought this because I'm just getting into the smoking game, but I'm also an experienced griller, and a pretty darn good cook. My main complaint is I just don't find most of the recipes terribly appetizing. When I say that, I mean a lot of the food is just overly fancy for my taste. I was hoping more for a book that provided basic smoking recipes, and what meat goes best with this smoke and these particular spices. I was also hoping it would give more tips about how to prepare particular meats, and how best to cook them. If you you want a huge variety of recipes or just want to good novice tips on smoking, this is a good book. Save yourself a few bucks and buy the kindle version.

I will add that there are a ton of tips in here for the newbie. It even goes as far to detail what type of smoker you should buy, by describing in detail many of the characteristics of each. This could be very useful if you want to start smoking, but don't know where you want to start. I won't say don't buy this, it is a great read and I've gotten some great ideas for it. Over all it's a good book and I'm glad a bought it, it's just not exactly what I was looking for.
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on February 24, 2015
what a wasted purchase this was!! unfortunately, I purchased this item based on it's reference in a "how-to" youtube video instead of doing my homework. the book might be ok IF you purchase/have the other books in the series by the authors. for instance, many recipes found in the index are listed as being in another volume altogether. the book is hard to follow an actually begins midstream... totally confusing. I might use this book for some recipes, but... luckily, i'm not one that requires photos to follow a recipe because the picture on the cover is the only one your going to get. bottom line, don't bother with this book; there are too many others available which are easier to follow without having to purchase additional books.
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on November 16, 2011
I bought this book as an impulse buy. Amazon suggested to me while I was purchasing my smoker and I took the bait. It was worth it, there are some great recipes in there. Recipes are what you should use this book for, it is not so much a smoking instruction book as it is a recipe book, though smoking tips and temperatures are giving in the recipes.

I've tried the coffee rub for the pork shoulder which was easy and fantastic. I've also tried the fancy chicken rub (pesto and goat cheese) which was pretty good too. It kept the chicken moist, but I didn't really get much of the pesto flavor. Next time I'd try it with the optional rub as well.

I've also tried two BBQ sauce recipes, the Memphis and the vinegar. I was not a fan of the Memphis sauce. The vinegar was not bad. It's not a traditional sauce, it's more of a juice. I'd like to try some of the sweet ones. The variety of flavors they have for each section (sectioned out into meat types, then sauces, then a bunch of other sections) is great. There is something for every taste, and the authors go into the history behind each recipe as well.

Now for the small gripes:

Aside from the mediocre Memphis bbq sauce, I am surprised there was nothing in the book about brining. If there is, it is buried and I can't find it. It's not in the index. It's so important to brine a lot of your meats to keep them tender and flavorful. I think there should have been a section about why to brine and some good brine mixtures. I instead learned my techniques from Alton Brown. If i'm wrong and it is in the book, I will take all of this back.

One other thing I have to question is some of the internal meat temperatures. For the Goat Cheese/Pesto rub recipe, it say to cook the chicken to 180 to 185 F. The recommended internal cooking temp for chicken is 165 (I would go about 170 or 175 to be safe). Why such a high temp? There was no reason given.

Overall this book keeps me excited to bbq. It's packed full of recipes and rubs that will keep me busy for a long time.
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on June 21, 2012
This book is a must-have for any serious fan of barbecuing. The recipes are well written and are cross-referenced for additional sauces, side dishes, and liquid refreshments.

What impressed me the most was the way the appropriate seasoning rubs, the mops, the sauces were all included on each recipe when applicable. I have not yet looked at every recipe, but from my first glance I realized that this book was well-written, and espouses the use of low and slow temperatures for some of the best smoked and barbecued food you will ever taste.

This book will become my barbecuing reference for all time in the future. The authors know their barbecuing; the recipes speak for themselves.

This book receives 5 stars and my personal word that you will enjoy reading and barbecuing the recipes from this book.
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on July 9, 2009
As a novice smoker, I can't see what more I'll ever need to get great results with my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. The great value of this book is in the huge number of recipes for cooking all sorts of meats (as well as veggies) with smoke. It has all the marinades, rubs, mops, and sauces I'll ever need. There also are side-dish and dessert recipes.

True, the book lacks detailed instructions for specific kinds of smokers, but I don't need them. My Weber is easy to operate, and Weber's own instructions are sufficient, but the Jamisons' book does offer helpful tips on fuels, cooking temperatures, etc. (It consistently recommends cooking temperatures of 200-220 degrees, vs. 250 degrees that Weber recommends. Either works; slower cooking can get you even more succulent results.)

A great point of the book is that it is completely ecumenical. It doesn't favor any particular US region's barbecues but gives you recipes for Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City, etc., style barbecues, as well as recipes from other smoking traditions, for example Asian and Jamaican. It also offers recipes and tips for all kinds of smokers - cylindrical water smokers like my Weber, traditional pit smokers, and even stove-top smokers.

The Jamisons also give us enough of the history and lore of smoking and barbecue to let us novices feel that we're joining a rich tradition. Their enthusiasm for cooking with smoke is infectious.
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on December 27, 2008
I love this book. I've used one of the rubs for jerky to send to my brother and his team in Iraq. Too hot..., but is there more?, was the first reaction.

Second reaction was, 'when is she sending more?', after the jerky ran out.

First time in 15 years of sending care packages, ever got a thank you.

Another reviewer said it best, this book isn't going to teach you how to smoke. That says it all.

You are buying the book for the recipes. Yes it does give you descriptions of smokers you should buy, but good smoking is a thing you learn and pass on to your children. It's not a fast thing; smoking a turkey properly could take 12 hours. Yes; it's not unheard of in TX to get up at midnight to put on the brisket for a 5pm dinner.

Buy the book for the recipes, learn what spices you like and then experiment.

My only regret is I didn't buy another copy when it was still available in hardback. It's been on my brother's wish list for years.
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on March 17, 2012
Once you get the hang of smoking this book takes you to the next step. It is chock full of sauces, mops, recipes of all kinds, from the simple to the more exotic. You are not limited to just stovetop smokers - all kinds of fire pits, outdoor stoves, etc are covered. The different woods and recommended foods are explored. There are so many variations to choose from in this 482 page book that you will be in smoker heaven for a long time to come.

Not only everything imaginable such as venison, rabbit, sausages, ham, but side dishes are included, such as smoked onion rings, various varieties of potatoes. Included are many regional rib recipes plus chicken, beef, breads and much more.
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on April 21, 2013
I don't want to criticized based on typos but the typos here could cause you to make mistakes and ruin the recipe.

E.g. In the recipe Smoked Onion sauce. Kindle edition says Mix in the remaining ingredients and 3.4 cup water. In the other edition that I saw it it says 3/4 cup water not 3.4

In the recipe Better Thane French Onion Soup. Kindle edition says
Cook until the skins are well browned and the onions feel soft about 11.2 hours.
Other editions says
1-1/2 hours not 11.2 hours. This is a seriously burnt onion.

Recipe looks good but I will have to return Kindle edition I might get the printed edition instead
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on November 19, 2009
We own many books and most cover 1 or two dishes and then goes on with everything else. We have always wanted a book that will give us a different view of the outdoors cooking and the art of "smoking". We found it.

If you are in the market for a good book, look no more, this is an excellent selection. It mixes quality recipies, cooking techniques, and gives you the history and and background to bring it together, which makes it an interesting read; a "Smoking gun" and plus in my opinion.

Our smoked dishes are delicious and the talk of the neighborhood friends, as we shared our first smoked dishes with them. This book will be a good buy!

One thing I would love to have with this book was a Spiral-bound for ease of use.
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I have several grilling cookbooks, most of which have at least vague advice for people with smokers, so I wasn't sure that I needed a whole cookbook to accompany the purchase of my new smoker. I'm glad I indulged, however, because this book has a lot of excellent recipes, and they're all written with smoking in mind.

One advantage of a smoke-centric book is that it presents plenty of choices for the items you're most likely to smoke. For instance, most grilling cookbooks (even the best) have only one or two recipes for pulled pork. Smoke & Spice has almost a half dozen. General grill books only expect you to use the smoker for big meaty items, such as ribs or brisket; this cookbook has a vegetarian smoker-cooked recipe for red peppers stuffed with corn, suitable for a summer lunch. (We had the Jamaican Jerk Pork in the smoker already, on the lower rack, so cooking the peppers was accomplished for free.)

I've tried a half dozen recipes already, and every one of them is a winner: mango-habanero sauce and Jamaican BBQ sauce were a mighty fine accompaniment to the pulled pork, and those peppers were a simple but delicious luncheon. I did expect top quality recipes, as I'm a big fan of their other cookbooks (I've worn out their breakfast book, for example); this book certainly lived up to my high expectations. Recommended.
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